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A bone to pick with Terence Moore

A bone to pick with Terence Moore

PostPost #1 by Don » May 4th, 2011, 12:41 pm

Terence Moore is a writer for MLB.com and has a long, extensive resume as a baseball writer. He has recently written an article that I wanted to bring to light and worth the few second to read.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd ... _container


My response:

It is this rational thinking of the Hall of Fall voters that have allowed wife beaters, racists, murders grace the bronze busts in the hallow halls in Cooperstown New York. They want to have the overly controlling powers to pick and choose "you stay, you go, you wait for the second ballot, you will not get 100% of the vote because Babe Ruth did not get it..."

There were your peer writers in the golden age that said Williams, Joe D, and the Mick had nothing on Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Joe Jackson, or the Babe from the early part of the century. Do you think they were full of it for making those remarks?

Give me a break

Baseball is about more than stats and will withstand the tests of time. People never forget, but 50-75-100 years from now Cal Ripken will be that Lou Gehrig figure. Albert and Junior will stand next to the Babe. Maddux will be talked along with Feller, Mattewson, and Young. Simply because you are witnessing it before your eyes should not lessen its' value and revere the yesteryears.
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Re: A bone to pick with Terence Moore

PostPost #2 by Dan Malone » May 4th, 2011, 3:16 pm

To some extent I agree with you. But I think what Moore meant, even if he didn't say it very well, was that there are so many great hitters, and so many not-so-great pitchers, that reaching certain milestones today doesn't mean as much as it once did. Hitters can be dominant, and put up raw numbers that stack up favorably with those of players 75 years ago, but it doesn't mean as much because they don't stand out from their contemporaries as much.

To illustrate this point, let's look at the top twenty retired players in career wRC+, a stat that measures all aspects of a player's offensive performance relative to their league:

1. Babe Ruth
2. Ted Williams
3. Barry Bonds
4. Lou Gehrig
5. Rogers Hornsby
6. Mickey Mantle
7. Ty Cobb
8. Joe Jackson
9. Jimmie Foxx
10. Tris Speaker
11. Mark McGwire
12. Stan Musial
13. Willie Mays
14. Dick Allen
15. Dan Brouthers
16. Johnny Mize
17. Mel Ott
18. Frank Robinson
19. Hank Greenberg
20. Hank Aaron

Grouping them roughly by generation gives you this:

1870-1900: 1 (Brouthers)
1900-1920: 3 (Cobb, Jackson, Speaker)
1920-1940: 6 (Ruth, Gehrig, Hornsby, Foxx, Ott, Greenberg)
1940-1960: 5 (Williams, Mantle, Musial, Mays, Mize)
1960-1980: 3 (Allen, Robinson, Aaron)
1980-2010: 2 (Bonds, McGwire)

Pujols is currently #8 on the list, though his career is incomplete, so he's left off for now. Expanding the list to 25 adds Frank Thomas and Manny Ramirez, as well as Charlie Keller, Joe DiMaggio, and Honus Wagner.

There are players whose greatness compares to the best of all time, but we have to come up with different ways of determining what makes them so great, because the tests we used to have don't work so well any more. Maddux's career 3.16 ERA is phenomenal in this day and age, but there are 229 pitchers who pitched at least 1000 innings and had better career marks. Does that mean they were better than Maddux? Absolutely not. In fact, in my opinion there has only been one pitcher in the history of baseball better than Greg Maddux. We just need to put everyone's accomplishments in context.

Also, Moore did everything but use the word steroids, which is what I think was his actual point.
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Re: A bone to pick with Terence Moore

PostPost #3 by Don » May 4th, 2011, 5:06 pm

But he is suppose to remain objective in his role as a member of the baseball writers association. It is one think to state your opinion, but he is crossing the line saying that someone else's numbers should never hold the same value as someone that he has never even witnessed as a player. He is basically calling out Cal Ripken without a single shred of evidence by linking him into this piece.

If he wants to say Steroids are the reason that Hank is better than Barry or Alex, he has that right because the issue is squarely on the table.

If he wants to say Hank is better than Albert or Lou streak holds more value over Cal's in his fashion, it is simply crossing the line.
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Re: A bone to pick with Terence Moore

PostPost #4 by Dan Malone » May 4th, 2011, 9:25 pm

Oh, I firmly disagree with him on the Cal vs. Gehrig bit. That's one record where the value hasn't diminished a bit over time. But I don't think he's saying that players in the past were better than they are today, just that the value of holding records is diminished when more players put up higher counting stats (perhaps because of steroids, though Moore doesn't actually say that).

I think he's got a valid point, but he goes about making it in a convoluted way that hurts the point itself.
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